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Who is telling the truth? Beaches Resort denies cancelling mediation meeting; time for TRANSPARENCY

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – November 3, 2020 — “Beaches did not cancel the mediation,” informed Beaches Resort in a statement issued to Magnetic Media just moments ago.  This latest media comment comes about 24 hours after local newspaper, TCI Sun published that Sharlene Robinson,  Turks and Caicos Premier and Finance Minister said the resort cancelled the November 18, 2020 mediation meeting.

Beaches has countered that it remains ready to negotiate in the near five-year old tax dispute.

“Beaches has always been and remains ready, willing and able to resolve this matter in a fair, equitable and transparent manner.  The tax matters and the breaches of Beaches Development Agreement, can be resolved in a day or two. This can be achieved only if there is a strong commitment, sincerity, good faith and capable decision makers sitting down together.  Our team continues to stand ready.”

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The volley of highly charged comments in the multi-million dollar row has played out in the public domain and has polorised people on the matter. 

Beaches Resort wants the mediation to begin now and suggests the process can be concluded before November 18.  November 18 is the day the resort, which employs nearly 2,000 people and which accounts for 70 percent of the country’s long stay visitors has set as its reopening amidst the coronavirus pandemic.  November 18 is also the day the TCI Government has said it would meet with the mediator in the Beaches Resort legal matter.

Now, the resort is calling on the TCI government to show the public a set of confidential communication.

“…since the TCIG now seems to have no issues speaking to the press, then it should let the people of the TCI and Beaches employees know the truth about the mediation. Let’s have full disclosure. We call on the TCIG to publish the letter dated October 29, 2020 which was sent to Beaches and which TCIG  wished to be treated as confidential, and to then also publish Beaches’ response.  Beaches consents to the publication of its letter.  Let the citizens decide for themselves.

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Let the people of the TCI know about Freedom of the Press unless TCIG wishes to take away their constitutional right.”

A second-time-around headline by the Turks and Caicos Weekly News ignited a firestorm of demands and comments.  A $76 million dollar possible tax write off made the news in 2019 when legislation and an amnesty related to the Hotel & Tourism Tax Ordinance was being debated. 

At that time, there was admission that the monies had accumulated as a result of government penalty charges.  House of Assembly members including three former finance ministers, namely:  Washington Misick, Royal Robinson and Derek Taylor supported ‘writing-off’ the accrued penalties. 

Beaches Turks and Caicos, the family all-inclusive brand owned by Sandals Resorts International explains, they were unaware of this news focus in2019,which again made news headlines over the weekend.

“Beaches also wishes to make it clear that is has never received a copy of any audit report and the first time Beaches knew of an alleged $76M tax write off was in the press.”

There was also this caution from Sandals Resorts executives, as this issue has become prime material as the Turks and Caicos inches closer to a general election.

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“Let us however be very clear.  Beaches will not allow its brand to be used for political propaganda or as a political football.  Beaches has no interest in playing politics. Our concern is for our team members and the citizens of the TCI.”

UPDATED & CORRECTED: The Attorney General, RhondaLee Braithwaite-Knowles informs late today she is in Turks and Caicos; though her automatic e-mail reply had previously informed that she was out of office, not necessarily out of the country, until November 9.  Earlier we reported that the AG was out of the country.

Magnetic Media, was in response to our questions about the mediation meeting, redirected by AG Braithwaite-Knowles to the Office of the Premier.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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LAST AMERICAN TOURIST SENTENCED TO A FINE OF $1500.00 OR SIX MONTHS IMPRISONMENT IN DEFAULT, SHE’S ALSO SENTENCED TO 23 WEEKS IMPRISONMENT SUSPENDED FOR ONE YEAR

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

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